Gov. Newsom yet to participate as state lawmakers attend Scotland climate conference


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — California lawmakers are in Scotland this week learning how other countries and states are trying to combat climate change. 

Members of California’s delegation at COP26 said they have met with the governors of Washington, Hawaii and Illinois so far, but lawmakers are staying quiet about the activities of their own governor, who was supposed to be there. 

“We all know we have to move even faster,” said State Sen. Josh Becker, D-Peninsula.

The state delegation said so far things have been productive at the climate change conference. They said, Monday aside from promoting the state’s climate policies, they’re learning from other counties and states. 

That includes Washington state and its investment program that incentives reducing emissions; how international shipping operations plan to improve data capabilities digitally; how Scotland is using offshore wind; and ideas to reduce the use of methane. They also learned how some countries are getting the private sector involved financially. 

“This is the homework club. We are taking notes and working our hearts out,” said State Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys. 

In their virtual meeting with reporters Monday, senators were asked several times about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s absence from the conference after he abruptly canceled his trip to COP26. 

“I think this story is a little overblown because we are coming to this from meeting with and spending time with officials from the Natural Resources Agency and Environmental Protection Agency,” said State Sen. John Laird, D-Santa Cruz. 

When Newsom canceled his trip 10 days ago, his office said he would be attending events virtually. More than halfway through the conference, the governor has yet to participate. 

Senators did not say what upcoming events they expect him to attend. 

“California’s been flying the flag quite admirably,” Laird said. 

FOX40 reached out to the governor’s office for comment but has not yet heard back. 

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